Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Oakland CA
Open now for just over a month, the Swan’s Marketplace location of Rosamunde is the fourth (after two in San Francisco and one in Brooklyn, NY). Each shop has something that sets them apart from the other three – the one on Mission St. in SF has 27 beers on tap! – and the Oakland Rosamunde, being so new, has yet to figure out its niche. We ordered five different sausages to taste the variety, and there’s still so much left on the menu, including several vegan options.
All of the sausages come with your choice of up to two sides (sauerkraut, grilled onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and beef chili), so we mixed it up with each one to best suit the different sausages. With the first, we noticed the French roll was fresh and grilled well, resulting in a nice crispy, crunchy outside but still soft on the inside with a good chew. The two duck and fig sausage links were juicy and flavor-packed with a mild sweetness, but definitely more savory that sweet. There was no gaminess to the taste, so the true duck came through. The onions were tender and beer-braised, a tangy complement to the duck.
We got the truffle sausage plain in order to savor the flavor. The meat was finely ground for a super nice texture, and the truffle flavor was more than a mere essence, as there were visible slices of truffle within the link.
The “Mission Street” is a knockwurst link wrapped with bacon, and for this one we tried the beef chili. The knockwurst itself had a mild spice with a lightly smoky garlic flavor, and it was juicy but with a good snap. The meat of the chili was tender, and the chili flavor was spicy in its own way, with cumin and curry to make the meat just slightly sweet. August said, “The curry makes me almost like chili!” (she usually avoids it).
Boudin blanc here is Cajun style, as opposed to French, meaning it has a mix of rice, pork, and special Cajun spices. This one we also ordered plain in order to see what the Cajun spices were like. The flavor was mildly spicy with a nice green onion background. The meat was soft and tender with some good, tasty char marks.
The wild boar sausages we dressed up the most, with grilled onions and sweet peppers to go with the apples and cranberries inside the sausage. There was no gaminess at all which was nice since wild boar is one of the gamier meats due to the diet. In fact, the meat taste was very mild and spiced in the same way as the duck but with a sweeter aftertaste from the fruit stuffing.
This was a good version of a German potato salad – creamy from the oil, vinegar, and mustard as opposed to loads of mayonnaise. Traditional bacon and green onions were there, and the potatoes were cooked but still had a little bit of give to the bite.
Tonight there were about 18 beers on tap, as they were getting rid of the last of the leftover kegs from the SF Beer Week. We couldn’t quote you the menu, since Mieko the friendly manager was swapping out the beers as they ran dry and adding new ones. However, standard is the wide variety of real sodas, which were helpful to sip between tasting the different sausages so as to clear the palate.
Brian, Bobby Moon, and Peter were a great team behind the counter, pumping out tantalizing meals for the numerous patrons, since there’s something here for everyone Brian helped us navigate the best options for each sausage, and Mieko was effervescent and very knowledgeable about the quartet of restaurants. With good beer, great sausages, and the anticipation of the something-special that the others won’t have, you can bet we’ll be coming back.